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 Native American Symbols

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tawny
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PostSubject: Native American Symbols   Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:35 pm

Arrowhead ~ Represents alertness

Buffalo Horns ~ Symbol of success

Cactus Flower ~ Courtship and romance

Corn ~ Symbol of life.....it is the mainstay for many tribes. Corn pollen and cornmeal is offered in blessing for protection, understanding and forgiveness

Corn Maiden ~ Gave the corn of her own body to feed her family so they would not have to hunt the beloved animals. After she passed on, she was reborn in the corn stalks and provided the seeds which continued to provide for all

Feather ~ Sacred universal symbol of flight within the spirit world and serving as a messenger to Great Spirit

Feathers fanned in a circle ~ Relates to the sun and the Creator

Fetish ~ Object containing spirit and power which benefits the beholder

Flowers ~ Symbolize a relationship to the sun

Handprint ~ Symbol of a human's life, achievements and legacy, the creative spirit and channeled energy

Kachina ~ A kachina can be a force of nature such as life, death, fire, flood, the spirit of a revered ancestor and the dancer at a ceremony

Lasso ~ Symbol of captivity

Man-in-the-maze ~ Tohono O'odham symbol of life cycles and choice, eternal motion with the goal of achieving harmony. The man is named "U'ki'ut'i"

Mask ~ Symbol of a human's animal spirit and prayer to sacred dieties

Medicine bag ~ Vessel containing herbs, remedies and or stones necessary for healing and protection

Moon ~ Earth protector and guardian in the night

Morning Star ~ Honoured as Kachina by most Pueblo tribes, sign of courage and purity of spirit

Music ~ Ritual of communication with Great Spirit with the singer's life breath. A method of settling disputes between tribes

Name ~ Given, taken away and changed at life defining events in one's life. Holds power of the individual thus given and spoken with respect and caution

Peyote ~ Psychedelic button of the Peyote cactus, used in religious ceremony to induce spiritual vision and connectedness with the higher realms

Pipe ~ Used in negotiations of peace and war, to offer sacred tobacco smoke to the 4 directions, and in religious ceremony

Plants and herbs ~ Represent essentials for survival including food, tools, basketry and healing

Prayer stick ~ Carved and painted cottonwood or cedar sticks decorated with feathers and images for a specific prayer, planted at sacred sites to send prayers to the Creator or to the Kachinas

Rain Cloud ~ Symbol of change, renewal and fertility

Rattle ~ Ceremonial songs are accompanied with rattles which are often used to represent the characteristic sounds of animals and nature

Sacrifice ~ ("To make sacred") Offerings of food, tobacco, cornmeal, pollen, feathers, shells, beads, herbs and such, given to Spirit and Dieties in blessing and prayer

Saddle Bag ~ Represents a journey

Shell ~ Served as wampum (money) in trade. Used in decoration of traditional dress and jewellery, as essential utensils of cooking, gathering water and digging

Shield ~ A warrior's most sacred possession from the time of his first battle until death. The design would be received in a dream by an Elder who would then make the shield for the new warrior

Spiral Patterns ~ Whirlwinds, cycles of life, eternal renewal and water, essential for life

Squash Blossom ~ Symbol of plenty and abundance

Steps ~ Represent Kiva, steps or clouds, direction and change

Sun ~ Earth guardian in day, healing energy

Sun Face ~ Giver of life, warmth, growth, goodness

Tobacco ~ Sacred herb used to make offerings, treat disease, seal agreements and smoked for enjoyment

Tomahawk ~ Hatchet-like object used in ceremony and war. Often showed carvings of owner's life events. Recognized in trade as the 'Indian Blanket'

Totem ~ Represents guardian spirits of an individual, family or tribe

Totem Pole ~ Northwest tribal tradition, could be interior or exterior. Interior totem poles often recorded family legends and history, serving as the family tree. Exterior totem poles are often a memorial for a deceased family member or a monument to the bearer's wealth and status, that of his family and the dieties connected with his family.

Wave Pattern ~ Water and cycles of life, renewal and water element essential for life

Yeii Spirit ~ Navajo spirit considered to be a communicator between man and the Creator. Yeii's control the natural elements.

Zia ~ Symbol of the Zia Pueblo, also represents the sun, the 4 directions and the circle of life
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